Real rewards are beyond the comprehension of an educated person. You have to breathe, be happy and do good things! These words are often spoken in interviews by James Gosling, a well-known figure in Edmonton and Canada. He has made a significant contribution to the field of IT and, through perseverance and effort, became the esteemed Canadian founder and developer of the Java programming language. Learn more at edmonton-future.
James Arthur Gosling was born near Calgary, Alberta, in 1956. He attended William Aberhart High School, but he was unlike other kids. While in junior high school, he started writing software to analyze satellite data. After high school, he enrolled at the University of Computer Science in Calgary, where he graduated in 1977. James didn’t stop there; immediately after graduation, he pursued his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University.
Doctoral Dissertation and the Beginning of His Career
During the creation of his doctoral dissertation, James developed his first now-popular display editor, Emacs, and wrote a version of the UNIX operating system for multiprocessor computer systems. His most notable achievement came when he ported the UCSD Pascal p-code from the PERQ workstation to run on the DEC VAX computer system by writing a VAX emulator.
His work on the Sun Java project served as inspiration for the concept of the Java virtual machine, which allowed code to be written once and run on multiple platforms simultaneously, providing programmers with greater flexibility.
James began his career at one of Sun’s renowned companies. In 1984, he had the opportunity to meet the founder of Sun, Andy Bechtolsheim. His initial project with the company involved the development of NeWS, a system designed for bitmap displays on workstations, intended to be used across different hardware platforms and operating systems. However, despite showcasing its capabilities, it did not achieve widespread success.
Writing the Java Language
The event took place in the summer of 1991 when Gosling, Mike Sheridan, and Patrick Naughton aimed to make a breakthrough in IT. Through their persistence and professionalism, they laid the foundation for the Java language. Sheridan spearheaded the project, successfully creating a new programming language at a time when C++ was dominant.
Java was not solely intended for use on PCs; the developers envisioned its application on televisions, phones and consoles. The original language, initially called “Oak,” was first introduced to the public on September 2, 1992, through the sophisticated portable media controller Star-7. This device utilized a graphical user interface and the user-friendly metaphor of a “home.”
Gosling played a pivotal role in designing Java and implementing its original compiler and virtual machine. For this achievement, he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.
Today, the Java language is widely used in programming and has become one of the most popular languages. It finds extensive applications in various programs, scientific experiments and corporate software.
In addition to his work on Java, Gosling has made significant contributions to other software systems such as NeWS and Gosling Emacs. He also authored “Bundle,” a utility program described in Brian Kernighan and Rob Pike’s book, The Unix Programming Environment.
Gosling left Sun shortly after Oracle acquired the company in 2010. He briefly worked for Google before joining Liquid Robotics, a company specializing in autonomous ocean robots used for oceanographic and atmospheric research.